, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 29 – The government may introduce free secondary education from next year, if a report presented to President Uhuru Kenyatta is implemented.
The report compiled by a taskforce on secondary school fees proposes January as the suitable time to introduce free secondary education in the country, a move aimed at making education accessible to all.
Kenya has already received accolades from international organisations, including the United Nations for implementing Free Primary Education which was introduced during former President Mwai Kibaki’s administration.
The taskforce report presented to the Head of State on Wednesday afternoon states that the move is aimed at ensuring equity and quality education for all Kenyan children.
“Every single child should be able to access basic education. The national government will partner with other stakeholders in this,” President Kenyatta said.
While receiving the report, President Kenyatta said that that Members of Parliament and county governments should also be able to provide funds for physical infrastructure.
The taskforce was chaired by former assistant minister Kilemi Mwiria who has since been appointed presidential adviser on education.
President Kenyatta said he fully supports the taskforce report but insisted on involving all stakeholders before implementation.
“We can manage our education sector better and use the available resources well. I have been to some schools where you only find 20 students and yet there is another school a kilometre away,” said President Kenyatta.
The report that identified levies included in the school fees structures as hindrances to access of quality education.
On new secondary schools, the taskforce recommends controlled and expansion of existing ones.
It also recommends elimination of measures that discriminate against the poor, especially unnecessary levies, unfair ranking of schools and an inequitable system of admission to secondary and university education.
The taskforce also calls for suspension of registration of new public schools and urges proper regulation of those in existence.
To cut costs in financing secondary school infrastructure, the task force recommends government’s collaboration with the private sector, county governments and Constituency Development Fund.
It also recommends merging of small schools and having two streams for all day schools.